Pink Rock Quarry
Plate 1034X. Pink Rock Quarry 1948 – 1953 – 2005 – 2005 The Pink Rock Quarry Photo Plot Transect was established by the Forest Service in 1943 to monitor range conditions on Dickinson Hill above South Canyon. The transect is 2,100 feet in length and according to early narrative reports, the area was very heavily grazed by domestic sheep when monitoring began. “The entire area shows serious soil depletion. [Erosion] pavement is everywhere…and top soil is found only under the protection of trees and shrubs…All grasses, excepting Bouteloua [blue gramma], are found only in the protection of shrubs…[A few Utah serviceberry] appear on the south ridge [and are all] in a very poor state of vigor. They are badly hedged and over half o the branches dead.” After remeasuring the transect in 1948, W.P. Cottam reported there had been “little improvement” since monitoring began and recommended that “lambing on this area should be discontinued.” While in 1953, I.H. Johnson noted that “the allotment continues to be used as lambing range, the ‘dropping’ herd now grazing the area along the transect line. This use has resulted in considerable soil disturbance…and many plants [are pedestaled] three to four inches high, indicative of the heavy soil loss…this range is in such extremely poor condition is doesn’t seem possible that it could deteriorate further.” Johnson also observed that pinyon and juniper were starting to invade the area. In 1979, Dr. Jim Bowns reported continued pinyon/juniper invasion and cautioned that “it is highly unlikely that this allotment will improve without some type of mechanical treatment or fire.” Plate 1034x is viewed west from the transect starting point. The first 2005 retake was made from the original camera station, while the second 2005 retake was made from the nearest open area to show the distant ridge. Needless to say, there has been a vast increase in pinyon and juniper on what historically was a sagebrush-grassland site. Curlleaf mountain mahogany and bitterbrush are also present, as are three-tipped sage, mountain big sage, squirretail, side oats gramma, and Poa spp. Forage production, though, is virtually zero despite the fact that the area has not been grazed by livestock for the last 20 years. Only fire or mechanical treatment will restore this area. Even deer and elk use is very low.
U.S. Forest Service photographs (unnumbered) taken by W.P. Cottam on August 16, 1948, and by I.H. Johnson on June 6, 1953; retakes by Charles E. Kay on August 5, 2005 - - Photo Nos. 5516-20 and 5916-11. Original photographs, negatives, and narrative reports held in the range files on the Cedar City Ranger District, Dixie National Forest, Cedar City, UT.
Pinyon, Juniper, Sagebrush
South West: Section 15, Range 6 West, Township 35 South; UTM of the transect starting point 366900 E, 4181400 N; elevation 8,000 ft.